He had the opportunity to play at Illinois, Cincinnati, Miami and North Carolina. Instead, Keith Butler chose Temple.
Butler, a center from Celestial Prep in Philadelphia, signed a national letter of intent to play for Temple’s men’s basketball team next season.
“I like Philly actually,” Butler told Insider Report last week. “I like Philly a lot. I have a family around here, so I think it would be pretty good for me. I liked the situation up there and I liked Coach John Chaney.”
Butler brings a lot of size and strength to the table for the Owls. Offensively, though, he is still working on developing his game.
“His footwork is getting better,” Celestial Prep High School Coach Darryl Schoefield said. “We’re working on post moves. He’s coming along. He already has excellent hands.”
Michael Blackshear, a senior at Simon Gratz High School in Philadelphia, also signed.
Blackshear, not to be confused with Ron Blackshear who left Temple for Marshall last season after demanding more playing time, is a rebounder. He is a worker off the glass. Pound for pound he is the best 6-foot-6-inch rebounder in all of high school basketball.
Blackshear and family are familiar with Chaney. Blackshear’s father Michael Sr. played for Chaney at Cheyney State and welcomes the opportunity for the younger Blackshear to be taught the lessons he learned from Chaney.
“He taught me how to be a man. How to be straightforward and honest,” the elder Blackshear told the Daily News. “How to give back to the community. How to be a man of your word. How to hunger for education … Now Mike will get that chance.”
Blackshear did emphasize that although he is ready for the challenge and couldn’t be happier then to play for Chaney. He knows it is a wild, tough ride ahead.
“All I hear is that he used to beat my dad up,” Blackshear told the Daily News. “Mr. Ell [Gratz Coach Bill Ellerbee] just yells and makes me run laps. I don’t know if I’d rather run or get beat up.”
Antywane Robinson has also signed a letter of intent to play at Temple. Robinson brings an agile 6-foot-7-inch, 205-pound frame to the Temple lineup. He has greatly improved according to Oak Hill Coach Steve Smith and can defend extremely well, especially against the break.
“He is athletic, he runs and jumps well,” basketball scout Allen Rubin said. “He plays intelligently. He plays a high post position and he can shoot the ball.”
Nehemiah Ingram, who was a non-qualifier this year for the Owls, will play in 2002.
Ingram will combine with current forward Glen Elliott in the post. Ingram is a wide body at 6 feet 8 inches, 220 pounds and was disappointed not to be able to make his debut this season for the Owls.
Ingram missed the cut to play for the Owls by mere percentage points on his GPA. He is enrolled at Temple, but is sitting out this season.